* Posts net loss of $273.8 mln vs year-ago profit of $134 mln
* Hit by a $467 mln asset impairment charge
* Adjusted net profit at $102.2 mln vs $88.9 mln forecast
* EBITDA at $349.6 mln vs $327.9 mln forecast
MOSCOW, March 7 (Reuters) - Russia's biggest food retailer, X5, reported on Thursday a fourth-quarter net loss of $273.8 million due to a $467 million non-cash impairment charge.
Net profit, adjusted for the charge the company warned of in January, totalled $102.2 million, down 24 percent year-on-year, beating an $88.9 million analyst forecast.
X5 said in January it would take a non-cash asset impairment charge of around $500 million in the fourth quarter related to "the less than satisfactory overall performance in 2012".
It has struggled with operational problems since changing its strategy in 2011 to focus on organic expansion, rather than acquisitions. The switch has been turbulent, with like-for-like sales turning negative and revenue growth slowing sharply.
X5's quarterly earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) also beat forecasts, edging up 1.5 percent to $349.6 million, with an 8.1 percent margin, the company said in a statement.
Analysts had forecast an EBITDA of $327.9 million with a 7.55 percent margin.
Its net sales rose 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter to $4.3 billion, in line with forecasts, bringing full-year 2012 result to $15.8 billion.